Cities come together for the sake of helping neighbors

Published 9:17 am Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Most weekends in the summertime, it’s not difficult to find a festival or fair to frequent with the family.

Last weekend was no exception, but in this case, the local attractions had a common theme that made them more special than others: community service.

It’s always great to see the streets in our downtowns lined with cars, or our parking lots filled with people, but it’s even more uplifting when those people gather to raise money for a good cause.

Last weekend, hundreds of people visited Niles and Dowagiac to do just that. Those visiting Niles were supporting the annual Burn Run, which raises money for burn victims to attend camp. In Dowagiac, people came out to raise money for cancer research through the annual Relay for Life.

Leaders of these events work year-round to make each event better than the last, donating hours of their free time to helping causes near to their hearts. These individuals work tirelessly to put on events that make a difference right here at home, and we’re very fortunate to share our communities with these selfless people.

Community events like the Relay for Life and the Niles Burn Run are great for a variety of reasons. First, and most obviously, they raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for efforts that impact people all over the world, and more importantly, right here at home.

Perhaps even more uplifting than the financial benefits of large fundraisers like these is the impact they have on the community. Whenever individuals work together for a common cause, a bond is created. With events as impactful and motivational as the Burn Run and Relay for Life, the bond among participants is even stronger.

Community members realize through their efforts that when they work together, they can make a difference, and that is certainly a lesson all of us can be reminded of from time to time.

As a result, events like Burn Run and Relay for Life surpass the impact on the causes they are dedicated to. They strengthen our communities and the people who make them up.

Regardless of how much money was raised this weekend, we think we can safely say that the strength that comes in numbers in support of the community and the people experiencing these hardships (be it cancer or life-altering burns) makes all the hard work worth it. We thank the organizers and all who participated for making it all possible.


Opinions expressed are those of the editorial board consisting of Publisher Michael Caldwell and editors Ambrosia Neldon, Craig Haupert, Ted Yoakum and Scott Novak.